Reentering the recording scene with a proverbial vengeance, saxophonist/composer and consummate idea-man Rob Reddy’s new release has been eagerly anticipated by many. And with his newly established record label, the artist generates a rite of passage back into the thick of things. He surrounds himself with superior musicians, some of whom are longtime associates, hearkening back to his recording days with the cutting-edge, yet now defunct Knitting Factory Records label. As the title of this effort is derived from a passage by William Carlos Williams’ Imaginations, intimating the trials and tribulations one encounters while aspiring towards goals. Therefore, the muse of Reddy’s compositions juxtaposes a sense of strife, but attains renewed vigor through spiritual implications. Pursuing hymnal and procession motifs woven into a progressive jazz framework, Reddy’s yearning vibrato lines are often construed upon memorable hooks and tempo rubatos. And with French hornist Mark Taylor and violinist Charlie Burnham, the music is postured by great depth and multi-functional underpinnings.
Guitarist Brandon Ross offers a forceful edge to pieces designed with radiant unison lines, samba undercurrents and cyclical pulses amid world music rhythms set forth by percussionist Mino Cinelu. On the title piece, the soloists fuse an irrefutably alluring primary theme with Taylor’s stoic phrasings atop Cinelu’s gently enacted African procession vamp. But Reddy’s uncanny morphing of fragile motifs with Ornette Coleman like; song-within-a-song stylizations spawn abundant soloing opportunities and improvisations engineered upon thematic expansions. Ultimately, he forges a poly-musical persona, drawing inspiration from his predecessors and perhaps the man upstairs -- all translating into a style that his clearly his own. Thus, Reddy returns to the scene with resounding triumph here!